Mont. man charged over 15 dead horses

WOLF POINT, Mont. (AP) — A man hired to care for horses on a ranch near Wolf Point in northeast Montana faces six charges after 15 horses were found dead.

The Billings Gazette reported that Richard D. Holen, of Poplar, was charged with one felony count of aggravated animal cruelty and five counts of misdemeanor cruelty to animals by the Roosevelt County Attorney's office.

It wasn't immediately known if Holen had an attorney.

According to charging documents, Holen had been hired by Scobey resident Kari Delagrave to care for 49 horses on land he leased on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation.

The dead horses, including five foals and five mares, were discovered in late August.

An investigation found the horses were dehydrated.

Investigators said 23 of the 49 horses were still unaccounted for.

Ore. judge stops BLM from sterilizing mustangs

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A federal judge has halted the U.S. Bureau of Land Management's plans to remove the ovaries of wild horses to stop them from propagating in Oregon.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reported the horses from the Warm Springs Herd Management Area cannot be sterilized with the procedure until the outcome of a court case brought by animal rights groups.

U.S. District Court Judge Michael W. Mosman said Nov. 2 that the groups' claims that the federal government should allow someone to monitor the surgeries are likely valid.

Animal welfare groups including the American Wild Horse Campaign said that an outside veterinarian should be allowed to watch the sterilizations and place nonintrusive cameras where the horses are held.

The federal government has long wrestled with how to stem the number of wild horses that roam eastern Oregon including offering them up for adoption.

Judge blocks effort to shrink red wolf turf

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A federal judge says federal authorities are violating endangered species protections with their plan to shrink the territory of the only wild population of red wolves, a move that would hasten the animal's demise.

U.S. District Judge Terrence Boyle ruled in an order signed Sunday that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service also violated the Endangered Species Act by authorizing private landowners to kill the canine predators when they aren't threatening humans, livestock or pets.

The lawsuit by the Red Wolf Coalition, Defenders of Wildlife and Animal Welfare Institute argued that the federal government's neglect allowed the red wolf population to decline.

About 35 red wolves remain in the wild, all in eastern North Carolina. They numbered about 120 a decade ago. Another 200 live in captive breeding programs.

Fire kills 100-plus cows in 2 N.Y. barns

ELLENBURG CENTER, N.Y. (AP) — A fire in two barns on a northern New York dairy farm has killed more than 100 cows but officials say dozens of other cattle were rescued.

Fire officials said the blaze was reported around 2:50 a.m. Nov. 1 at a farm in the Clinton County hamlet of Ellenburg Center, about 10 miles from the Canadian border.

Ellenburg Center Volunteer Fire Department Chief Colin Wall said that a 300-foot-long barn and an adjacent structure were both fully engulfed in flames when crews arrived.

While most of the cows were killed, Wall said people already on the scene were able to get 40 to 45 cattle out of the burning buildings, which were completely destroyed.

The cause of the fire is being investigated.

New case of mild bird flu found in Minn. flock

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Board of Animal Health has identified another case of a mild form of bird flu in a Minnesota turkey flock.

Rutine testing confirmed the presence of low-pathogenic H5N2 virus in a turkey flock in Stearns County.

The flock of 13-week-old hens has been quarantined. The farm will be allowed to market the turkeys once the birds test negative for the disease.

A similar case of the virus was detected last month in a commercial turkey flock in Kandiyohi County.

Officials say this mild form of bird flu is not the same strain of virus that caused a devastating outbreak in 2015, and poses no public health or food safety risk.

Sanctuary, farm join to save pig from slaughter

HAVERHILL, N.H. (AP) — An animal sanctuary and a farm are working together to spare a young slaughterhouse-bound pig to promote local agriculture in New Hampshire.

Beans and Greens Farm of Gilford is hoping to send the pig named Grover to the Tomten Farm and Sanctuary in Haverhill where it will live out its days.

The Caledonian-Record reported Grover, described as the “runtiest of runts,” has touched the lives of people who know him via the farm stand’s petting zoo. Sanctuary founder Jenifer Vickery said Grover was to have become “a farm-to-table meal.”

She said they’re fundraising to expand the sanctuary’s pig area to accommodate Grover and future pig rescues.

She’s hopeful the collaboration with the Gilford farm stand will “stimulate thought and conversation” between other sanctuaries and farms.

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